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MMDA buys 20 camcorders for no-contact apprehension

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has found a better way of identifying traffic violators while adhering to its so-called no-contact apprehension policy.

MMDA traffic czar Bong Nebrija said that they have purchased some 20 video camera recorders early this year. These are used by the agency’s traffic enforcers to record traffic violators without accosting them or flagging them down.

“This is a preposition mechanism. We deploy the people with camcorders in some areas then after recording traffic violations, they will go back to the office, download the material and start processing the apprehensions,” Nebrija explained. 

He added that this “mobile non-contact apprehension” is different from the usual no-contact apprehension for which they use closed-circuit television cameras installed in traffic-prone areas of the metropolis and is being monitored at its base in Makati City. 

But he said that both the mobile and the usual no-contact apprehension follow the same concept as far as the apprehension of traffic violators and the conveyance of violations to erring motorists are concerned. 

Nebrija added that, as a whole, the policy is not a traffic-reduction measure, but only an augmentation. But it does help to keep traffic moving compared to physical apprehensions, even as it spares them from “arrogant violators.”

Former MMDA Chairman Bayani Fernando introduced the “No Physical Contact Policy” in 2003 that aimed to address traffic caused by the system of apprehending motorists and to discourage graft and corruption on the part of enforcers. 

The policy was implemented briefly that year, then was revived sometime in 2015. 

Under its no-contact apprehension policy, the MMDA will summon traffic violators through registered mail, which is subject to contestation before its adjudication board. After this, violators’ names will be listed in the “alarm list” of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) if the fine remains unsettled.

In another development, records from the MMDA showed that 377,429 traffic violators were apprehended from January to May 2019, which is higher by 361,714 from the 15,715 violators apprehended during the same period last year. 

Nebrija said that the figures show how they strictly the agency implements traffic rules, and added that most of the apprehended traffic violators are those who regard themselves as “self-entitled citizens of the Republic.” — By Robertzon Ramirez/The STAR

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